Student Reflections — Take Home Messages From #TPSER8

Michael Coplin, Emory University, MD/MBA 2016 says:

As we wrap up day 3 of the Patient Safety Roundtable, I am amazed by how quickly this week has gone by.  It has been a wonderful week of exploring critical questions during sessions guided by patient safety experts, engaging with and learning from students with a common interest, and enjoying the beauty of Telluride.  It has also been enlightening to learn from both American and Australian healthcare professionals and to recognize that we share common challenges despite being a world apart.  The days have been incredibly thought provoking, and I am certain that I will leave here with more questions than I had coming in.  I feel empowered and motivated to return to my home institution, Emory University School of Medicine, with the goal of sharing the lessons I have learned with fellow medical students, IHI Open School members, as well as faculty members.  Importantly, I will know how to proceed if I observe lapses in patient safety.

One of the most memorable activities of the week was the teeter totter game.  We worked as a team to balance 6 people on a wood plank for 10 seconds without falling.  Upon stepping off of the wood, our team unfortunately could not maintain balance, and the egg/”patient” was crushed.  Following this incident, we debriefed to learn from the experience and to understand what we could do differently in the future.  We understood that clear and consistent messages by team leaders combined with critical thinking and mutual support among team members are the necessary components of success.  We were also able to improve our strategy by observing subsequent teams.  The valuable lessons from this experience will remain with me in the years ahead as I begin to interact with and play a role in health care teams.